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Councillors back 7% Aberdeen taxi fare hike despite fears it will deter customers

Stock image of taxi
Stock image of taxi

Aberdeen councillors have unanimously backed a 7% increase in taxi fares in the city.

Following the decision by the licensing committee today, the cost could escalate by January, which means a 12% rise over two years.

There will be further consultation with the trade and the issue will be brought back to committee before the new fare structure is introduced.

Last year, a 5% increase was introduced, the first for seven years.

Using a special formula to calculate cost changes for drivers, a report to councillors revealed that city drivers are now paying around 21% more to work in the trade compared with last year.

Aberdeen taxi boss says ‘don’t hit hard pressed public with more fare rises’

Based on a rise in inflation, fuel, servicing and replacement parts, the council has calculates it now costs £4,633 to keep a taxi on the road, against £3,810 in 2018.

Speaking to committee, taxi driver Mark Cullen urged councillors to back the hike and added that research he had conducted online found a “vast majority” of drivers were in favour and that customers would accept a “modest” rise.

He said: “It is generally accepted the (oil and gas) industry has had a period of recovery.”

Quoting from the report, he added: “The public interest is best served by ensuring the maintenance of an adequate taxi service by giving the trade a fair return rather than depressing fares for social reasons, however understandable.”

But Peter Campbell, the shop steward for Aberdeen taxi drivers in the Unite Union, said he felt that raising fares would mean fewer taxi customers.

He said: “I’m not surprised by the decision but there will be consultation so it is not final. Time will tell if the public would accept this and I don’t think they would.

“The main thing I want is more people taking taxis, meaning more customers for drivers. I think raising fares could put people off.”

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